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Yemeni air defense forces shoot down third Saudi spy drone in less than 24 hours

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This undated picture shows the wreckage of an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Saudi military after it was intercepted and targeted by Yemeni forces. (Photo by al-Masirah )

Yemeni forces have intercepted and shot down a third surveillance drone belonging to the Saudi military coalition, flying in the skies over the border of the southwestern Saudi region of Jizan.

The unmanned aerial vehicle was downed with a precision-guided missile over the Jahfan area of the region on Thursday, the Arabic-language al-Masirah television network said.

The spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, earlier said in a statement that Yemeni forces and their allies shot down Saudi reconnaissance spy drones on Wednesday.

"One spy drone was shot down near the border of the southwestern Saudi region of Jizan, while the other drone was downed near the southern Saudi region of Asir," the statement read.

The operations were the latest in Yemen's retaliatory attacks against Saudi Arabia over its war on the impoverished country. Yemeni forces regularly target positions inside Saudi Arabia in retaliation for the Saudi war.

Yemen, the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula, has been battered by what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, which has resulted from the devastating Saudi war. 

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the country's Riyadh-allied former regime back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past four and a half years.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

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